Thursday, February 21, 2008

CPR For The Old Client List Or Resurrecting the Dead

After my Monday post, "Calling For All Good Ideas," I got a few pretty good ideas from some of our readers listed as follows:

1. My idea was to have a "Thinking Of You" promotion. You can read about it in my Monday post right here.

2. Jeff Schaefer suggested calling some of your lost clients and find out why they left. It could just have been a lack of communication. If they bring up specific problems address them. Focus on these changes in a marketing campaign. Then, continue the communicate with print and/or email newsletters and a blog.

On that note, I think a lot of business owners are afraid to know how their clients feel about them and want to stay away from a customer survey. It can be a great awakening to take the pulse of your customer preferences and expectations.

3. Kay from Germany had some really good suggestions too. Here they are; A. Do an exhibit with some of your latest works and invite all of your clients. B. Send seasonal greeting cards to your customers. Not just any old seasonal card, but one you have created yourself. You can also recreate some old masterpieces or movie scenes with images of yourself and your staff. These are very recognizable and will help your clients keep you in mind. C. Give your nearly lost clients a discount on copies of the pictures you have done on the last shoot. I think these are all good ideas. It's about reconnecting and then continuing that relationship.

4. One person suggested "Free Stuff" - Prints on canvas, brag books, and extra CD's and DVD's. "When I tell the client that I want to give them a canvas print that would normally sell for $250 for FREE, it brings them back every time. My canvas printer gives me a substantial discount when I order dupes, so if I'm careful about how I'm ordering it (i.e. one for a studio sample and one to give away), it doesn't cost me much more than what I was going to spend for promotions anyway. I'm saving customers money and thus gaining customers at the same time! "

5. Here is one for the road that I came across yesterday, and it's one of my favorites. What I like about it is that it works great for present and past clients. April Cullet at Studio Gagliano, Inc. has an "After Hours" cocktail party for their clients to bring them up to speed on the studio happenings. Here's is the link to here blog post on the subject. This could be a perfect opportunity to reconnect at a social gathering with those past clients you may have let slip by . An "After Hours" party to reintroduced them to your wonderful photography and services. Even if you don't have a studio, you could easily pull it off at one of the smaller hotels like a Hyatt Place, Hilton Garden Inn, Marriott Courtyard - any location with small meeting space that does not break the bank. We work with a small hotel where the charge is only $150 for the entire day room rental. I feel this is pretty reasonable expense for saving the mailing list.

Thanks to everyone who responded. I think we have some solid ideas here - now we need to act on them. Now read on to a quick recap of Jeff Gitomer's tidbits from his newsletter this week - perfect timing if you ask me.

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